On Food & Wine
ByWines adds actor Kyle MacLachlan’s Pursued by Bear wines from Walla Walla to Wine Portfolio PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 23:59

 Listen to an interview with Movies/TV Actor Kyle MacLachlan,winemaker of Pursued by Bear, Walla Walla, Washington State on FOOD & WINE TALK

victor sex wnesMotion picture and TV actor Kyle MacLachlanSex and the City and Desperate Housewives — poured tastings of his 2008 Pursued by Bear Cabernet Sauvignon and Baby Bear Syrah, new vintages from his Walla Walla-based wine partnership with Eric Dunham at ByWines’ headquarters in Miami.

By Wines’ addition of Pursued by Bear, a Dunham MacLachlan Cabernet Sauvignon and Baby Bear Syrah from Walla Walla, Columbia Valley, to its portfolio of fine wines reflects an exclusive marketing and sales agreement to represent Kyle MacLachlan’s wines in Florida.

Kyle MacLachlan’s interest in wine started early on in the 1970’s (he didn't like beer), kyle_maclachlan_2011_shankboneand when director David Lynch, who cast MacLachlan in the movie Dune in his early 20s, discovered that the famed Chateau Lynch-Bages was a Bordeaux Grand cru, he began exchanging bottles with the actor.

But it is on the occasion of his wedding to Desiree Gruber in Miami in 2002 that he came across Dunham Cellars and befriended winemaker Eric Dunham.

Shortly after, he approached him with the idea of collaborating, and the partners decided to produce Pursued by Bear, a Cabernet Sauvignon, made at Dunham Cellars, in Walla Walla, soon followed by a hearty Syrah.

The name, suggested over dinner by fellow actor Fred Savage, comes from a quirky stage direction ("Exit, pursued by a bear") in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. MacLachlan says his foray into winemaking was a labor of love that he dreamed about for years.

pursued-by-bear-logo2008 Pursued by Bear Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley $75   . 78% Cab Sauv; 11% Merlot, 11% Syrah. alcohol 14.2%  A creative collaboration between Dunham Cellars Senior Winemaker, Eric Dunham, and actor Kyle MacLachlan. sourced from the Lewis Estate Vineyard and the Phinny Hill Vineyard, the highly structured Bordeaux blend delivers an opulent nose of roasted coffee, black cherries,  plums, hints of anise and herbs leading to a fruit forward, layered wine with an interesting mineral element and well-balanced  tannins with a persistent finish. 411 cases. Wine should keep for at least 15 years.

2008 Baby Bear  Syrah, Columbia Valley $45. This  100% Syrah from  Lewis Estate and Phinny Hill vineyards spent 24 months in 100% French oak. 14.2% alchohol. It is an inky Syrah, rich and opulent, redolent with earthy aromas and hints of mountain berries, licorice and spice.

By Wines Manager Victor Passalacqua is responsible for the strategic direction and exclusive distribution of this brand in Florida. For additional information: www.bywines.com

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 20:54
 
Rémy Martin LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 retails for 18 000 € (US$ 23,151.30, but who’s counting?) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 23:38

 

Pierrette Trichet, Cellar Master of the House of Rémy Martin in Cognac, France, and her deputy Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau were among selected guests from 17 countries gathered in the splendid setting of Udaipur, ‘the City of Sunrise,’ in Rajasthan, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mewar, home to the world’s most ancient surviving royal dynasty,  to launch the LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6, the second in the history of the House of Remy Martin.

A “Rare Cask” is a single, extremely rare barrel among the hundreds of century-old tierçons that will one day go to make LOUIS XIII Cognac. This Rare Cask is sufficient for just 738 decanters and takes its name from its unique 42,6 degrees of alcohol.

LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 blends 1,200 eau-de-vies, 100 years in the making, here featuring salient aromas that are unique to this one precious cask – notes of plum and dates, mingling with flavors of gingerbread, prune stone and ginger, punctuated by a final touch of tobacco leaf.

LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 - all decanters will be serial numbered from 001 to 738, available from LOUIS XIII certified retailers, best palaces, hotels and restaurants (LOUIS XIII Fortress network). Suggested retail price, 18 000 € (US$ 23,151.30, but who’s counting?)

 
Searching for Miss Cheerwine contestants - Deadline April 5 PDF Print E-mail
Written by press release   
Sunday, 10 March 2013 21:40

 

Press Release -- Cheerwine, www.cheerwine.com,  the legendary soft drink of the South, kicks off its third annual search for Miss Cheerwine by making it the company’s largest search to date.

Females between the ages of 21 and 29,  residents of Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, West Virginia and Washington D.C. will be eligible to enter, as well as those from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Georgia, are encouraged to apply for the year-long position, which will include representing the iconic brand and making appearances at select sporting events, concerts and media opportunities.

The contest will open on March 4, and the deadline for final submissions is April 5. Cheerwine judges will choose three finalists, who will each create a video introducing themselves to fans via the brand’s Facebook page. Public voting will determine which applicant best embodies Cheerwine’s signature effervescence and individuality. Miss Cheerwine 2013 will be announced on or about June 5.

For more information on Miss Cheerwine, to vote, apply or view program guidelines and requirements, visit the Miss Cheerwine Search tab on Cheerwine’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/Cheerwine .

Owned and distributed by the Carolina Beverage Corporation and Cheerwine Bottling Company in Salisbury, N.C., the 96-year-old company is still privately owned and managed by the same founding family.

 
Spirited Sirens launches Beer, Bites & Babes educational booze seminars for women, Wed, March 13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG   
Sunday, 10 March 2013 17:21
 

Spirited Sirens, a new series of educational seminars primarily geared towards women and artisanal imbibing will debut on Wednesday, March 13 with Beer, Bites & Babes, 6:30 p.m. welcome beer cocktail, 7 p.m. Tasting.  
Spirited Siren founder Jennifer Massolo will guide the tasting event series, with a one-hour, craft beer sampling session  hosted at The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions a modern tavern, which celebrates American integrity, ingenuity and craftsmanship. The cost: $25 per person includes 6:30 PM welcome beer cocktail, Tasting begins promptly at 7:00 (one hour)
The Federal Food Drink & provisions, 5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami To purchase tickets please visit: http://www.thefederalmiami.com/Site/Events
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 March 2013 17:25
 
A $1500 Flask for Macallan’s first-ever, single cask All American Oak Scotch Whisky PDF Print E-mail
Written by   
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 21:27
 

the flask mccallan

 

The Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky has partnered with Oakley to bring the aesthetics of your everyday flask into an entirely new arena with the release of The Macallan | The Flask: a container that can be dropped out of a helicopter or pulled behind a car without disrupting a fine Single Malt Scotch held within.

Made possible by the world’s most advanced structural technologies  The Flask’s striking armored body  — it is clad in black anodized 5-axis machined aerospace grade aluminum; the inner flask, laser welded and made of food grade steel is wrapped in carbon fibre composite as well as treated to an intensive passivation and electro-polishing procedure — is designed to protect the investment that accompanies it: The Macallan’s first-ever, single cask All American Oak Scotch Whisky.

A mere 550 limited editions of The Flask with the accompanying 22 Years Old liquid are available for SRP $1,500, rendering this one unrivaled, iconic collectible.

 


 
First Cultivated French Black Truffle found in Oregon’s Willamette Valley PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 18:35

oregon-truffles-diamonds-in-the-dirt-0113-mOf all the world’s culinary delicacies, truffles stand out as the ultimate luxury food. With the advent of technology to control the symbiosis between truffles and the roots of their host trees, truffles have at last entered the realm of agriculture.

On February 28, a time when they reach their peak of musky perfection, the first Périgord black truffle or Tuber melanosporum was harvested* near Corvallis, Oregon in a two-acre orchard of inoculated hazelnut trees supplied by  Dr. Charles Lefevre, owner of New World Truffières, Inc. based in Eugene, OR.

Because of the price Périgord black truffles fetch on the market ( up to $1500/lb.) the orchard owner chooses to remain anonymous until security arrangements are made around the site.

This initial success comes despite naysayers claiming that Western Oregon is too wet for cultivation of Périgord truffles. Microscopic analysis by Dr. Lefevre shows spore morphology consistent with Tuber melanosporum. DNA analysis will be conducted at Oregon State University for verification.

With retail prices reaching Périgord truffles can be a very lucrative crop. And while cultivation of Périgord truffles remains a new and promising industry for American farmers, annual truffle commerce is expected to exceed $6 billion within the next two decades, rivaling many other agricultural commodities traded worldwide.

* Kris Jacobson and her Belgian Malinois, Ilsa of Umami Truffle Dogs in Veneta, Oregon were the first  to dig out the truffle.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 18:41
 
Under New Management, BYWines appoints Victor Passalacqua as Managing Partner PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 17:31
victor at mciVictor Passalacqua, a favorite feature in Miami’s culinary scene for over 20 years, has been appointed Managing partner at BY Wines, an importer and distributor of fine wines in Miami, Florida, under new management since January 2013.

Combining business expertise with a thorough working knowledge of wine and restaurants, the driving force behind the young company is the cutting edge team of Jan Boon, a Dutch entrepreneur, successful hotelier and savvy businessman with several  companies  in France, Dominican Republic and the Caribbean,  and President at BY Wines, Grupo las Ballenas, Las Terrenas Country Club, B & B Caraib investment Ltd, Ohtli Inc., Managing Partner Victor Passalacqua and  Vice President of Operations Melissa Boon .

BY Wines has restructured the company formerly known as Domaines Rollan de By and expanded the focus of its portfolio, elevating it from the existing stocks of high-end French wines to affordable great wines from unique boutique wineries across the world.   While BY Wines still carries the award-winning Crus Bourgeois Supérieurs of Domaines Rollan de BY in the Médoc, Bordeaux, France, the role of winemaker Jean Guyon has shifted from partner in the company to that of BY Wines preferred supplier.

“We are one of the few companies stocking iconic wines like Mouton-Rothschild, Pétrus, Château Ausone and Château Le Pin, among others, and that can deliver them immediately, on demand, ” explained  Mr. Passalacqua.  “But we’ve also made room for unique and wonderful boutique wines from France, Spain — i.e.  the famous Matarromera wineries in Ribera del Duero —, Italy, Chile, Argentina, the US and more.”

During his travels in different winemaking regions Victor Passalacqua formed solid relationships with winemakers and his aim as BY Wines’ Managing Partner is to raise the bar in restaurants’ and hotels’ wine lists.  Since he worked in all areas of hospitality and service industry around the world, his insight and knowledge are invaluable to restaurants, bars, resorts and hotels alike.   “Victor’s  a great guy, hard-working, very knowledgeable and because he worked in some of the best places in the world he takes his work to the next level,” said Peter Knezevic , then GM at Rusty Pelican and now owner of 94 Squadron Restaurant.

Mr. Passalacqua is now joining MDC’s  MCI, Miami Culinary Institute’s Wine Education program -  a required course in the curriculum to graduate in  Culinary Arts,  and as Culinary and wine director of the Miami Wine & Spirits Expo 2014 – a joint undertaking.   “We are very excited to get the By Wines team involved and to have someone like Victor who has over 20 years of experience not only in the wine but in the restaurant business that could instill that passion in the students,” said Chef Collen Engle and Chef Jose Casals of MCI’s curriculum. The spring semester classes start  on Feb 25, and will continue in the summer semester. MCI is looking forward to creating classes for Continuing Education (non credit classes) open to the public.
BY Wines ‘ 5000-square-feet, state-of-the-art temperature-controlled warehouse is headquartered in Miami, Florida (1305 NW 155th Drive,   Miami Gardens, FL 33169).  www.BY Wines.com

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 18:18
 
New Farmers’ Markets in Miami Beach and Downtown Miami. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Friday, 01 February 2013 17:26

It used to be a weekend treat, but Farmers’ Markets are now popping with more frequency, in different locations, and even on weekdays,  proving once again that  Miamians are increasingly keen on sourcing local produce and other foods.

Now,  neighbors can meet weekly at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden on Wednesdays , from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. , at 2000 Convention Center Drive/Miami Beach 33139, and in the heart of Downtown Brickell Area at 1101 S. Miami Avenue  on Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. over fresh local produce grown in Dade County; local honey made by Redland beekeepers; freshly baked breads; French patisseries; locally made fresh mozzarella;  a nice selection of prepared foods such as BBQ, salads, empanadas and such; a coffee booth featuring super premium single origin coffees;  handmade soaps and creams, orchids;  a nice selection of potted fresh herbs and more…

For additional information and to find the locations of other markets log on to www.themarketcompany.org
 
Simply Italian Great Wines Americas Tour returns to Miami on Tuesday, February 5, at the Freedom Tower, Downtown Miami PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 28 January 2013 00:00

banner-miami-2013Over 40 winemakers from all regions of Italy, from renowned producers to newcomers in the industry, will showcase their wines at this year's Simply Italian Great Wines Annual World Tour Miami.

The event organized by IEEM (International Event and Exhibition Management) and hosted by the Miami Culinary Institute at MDC will be held on Tuesday, February 5th, starting at 10:30 a.m. with morning seminars, food & wine pairings held at the state-of-the-art amphitheater at the MIAMI CULINARY INSTITUTE on MDC Wolfson Campus, 415 NE 2nd Avenue #9104, Downtown Miami, FL 33132, and from 2 to 6 p.m., a Walk Around Tasting  and food pairings by participating Italian restaurants at the historic FREEDOM TOWER, 600 Biscayne Boulevard, Downtown Miami, FL 33132.

One of the highlights of the event will be the  “Simply the Best”  Award Ceremony at The Freedom Tower presented by the Italian Consul General – Mr. Adolfo Barattolo - to the Best Italian Restaurant, the Best Italian Wine List in restaurants, the Best Sommelier and the best communicator. Scholarships will be awarded to the Miami Culinary Institute's Best students.

Winners of each category of the Simply the Best awards will receive a complimentary visit to several wineries in Italy for a minimum stay of 3 days.

For additional information log on to  http://www.ieemusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=364&Itemid=192 ; to register to the event log on to: http://www.ieemusa.com/index.php?option=com_rsform&Itemid=88 . Registration is open to accredited members of the Trade and Press.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 19:52
 
The Wedding Cake Stamp PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 21 January 2013 22:42

wedding cakeLOUISVILLE, KY — The Postal Service reissued the Wedding Cake stamp today in a 66-cent version to accommodate the 1-cent price change that goes into effect Jan. 27.

Available in panes of 20, customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, by phone at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.

The stamp was dedicated in Louisville during the American Philatelic Society’s AmeriStamp Expo at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

The Wedding Cake stamp, introduced in 2009 and sold at the two-ounce price, accommodates the heavier weight of an invitation, as well as other mailings such as oversize cards or small gifts that require extra postage. The stamp art features a photograph taken by Renée Comet of Washington, DC, of a three-tier wedding cake topped with white flowers. The cake was created and designed by pastry chef Peter Brett of Washington, DC. Art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, designed the stamp.

Ordering First-Day Postmarks

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).

 
Napa Valley Wine Academy Launches Wine and Spirit classes and certification program PDF Print E-mail
Written by press release   
Sunday, 20 January 2013 20:36
 

Register to  win a $200 certificate to purchase wine when you enroll at The Napa Valley Wine Academy’s   inaugural wine program this month with classes that bring students out of the standard classroom and into winery and food centers.   Sign up for the Napa Valley Wine Academy Newsletter and for more information go to  www.napavalleywineacademy.com to gain entry into the sweepstakes.

A range of classes and wine certification courses (certain classes will be offered in Spanish and German) are being offered by the Napa Valley Wine Academy:

Basics and Beyond the Basics
The 2-3 hour Basics classes are ideal for wine country visitors, those just entering the wine business, and general enthusiasts, with offerings such as: Prelude to a Sip : So What Am I Smelling and Tasting? and It’s a Bubbly World – Sparkling Wines from Around the World. There are also a series of Beyond the Basics classes such as Wine Finds : Lesser Known Wine Treasures from around the World.

WSET Wine Certification Courses
Take your career to the next level: The Napa Valley Wine Academy is an approved provider of the internationally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certification courses, Levels 1 through 3.




Register to  win a $200 certificate to purchase wine when you enroll at The Napa Valley Wine Academy’s   inaugural wine program this month with classes that bring students out of the standard classroom and into winery and food centers.   Sign up for the Napa Valley Wine Academy Newsletter and for more information go to  www.napavalleywineacademy.com to gain entry into the sweepstakes.

A range of classes and wine certification courses (certain classes will be offered in Spanish and German) are being offered by the Napa Valley Wine Academy:

Basics and Beyond the Basics
The 2-3 hour Basics classes are ideal for wine country visitors, those just entering the wine business, and general enthusiasts, with offerings such as: Prelude to a Sip : So What Am I Smelling and Tasting? and It’s a Bubbly World – Sparkling Wines from Around the World. There are also a series of Beyond the Basics classes such as Wine Finds : Lesser Known Wine Treasures from around the World.

WSET Wine Certification Courses
Take your career to the next level: The Napa Valley Wine Academy is an approved provider of the internationally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certification courses, Levels 1 through 3.


Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 20:37
 
IHOP offers free pancakes on February 5 to kick off Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ 30th Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 21:16

 

IHOP®, one of America’s most popular breakfast chains  will offer a complimentary stack of IHOP’s buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.   during National Pancake Day on February 5, 2013, while celebrating Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ 30th Anniversary. On this day, the restaurant chain hopes to raise $3 million as the first national fundraising campaign to kick off the 2013 fundraising year for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

For more information on National Pancake Day, or to learn about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and make an online donation, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 19:53
 
Sat. January 26, 4th annual Les Dames d'Escoffier Miami Giant Gourmet Garage Sale, Coral Gables PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 22:23

 

dsc09910This everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Les Dames d'Escoffier Miami Giant Gourmet Garage Sale on  Saturday, January 26, fromdsc09916  8 AM to 2 PM offers new and gently used aprons, art, bakeware, baskets, bric-a-brac, candles, ceramics, china, collectibles, cookbooks, crystal, dish towels, flatware, gadgets, linens, napkins, pots & pans, small electrical appliances, stemware, tins, Tupperware, vases, and much more.

The GGGS also features cooking demonstrations and the Dames Marketplace with a cornucopia of  locally grown fruit and vegetables, potted herbs, vegetable "starts," prepared foods and baked goods-all homemade or homegrown by the chapter's chef, caterer, and farmer members.

The Giant Gourmet Garage Sale will be held at  1217 Granada Boulevard from 8 AM to 2 PM. This is the home of local celebrity dessert chef Lucila Venet-Jimenez, of  "Sweet Art by Lucila"   Free Admission

 Les Dames d'Escoffier Miami  is comprised of female food, farming, hospitality, and wine professionals dedicated to: funding annual culinary and/or agriculture scholarships for exceptional young South Florida women; supporting and fostering regional agriculture; and funding organic school vegetable gardens, nutrition, and cooking education for area youth and for our region's farm labor force. Garage Sale proceeds will help underwrite these projects.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 22:47
 
Saturday, January 26, 4th annual Coral Gables Tour of Kitchens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 22:18

The ten-stop 4th annual Tour of Kitchens - Saturday January 26 from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.,  will showcase eight of Coral Gables' finest private home kitchens, and will offer food tastings, table setting displays, and the sale of home-related merchandise. One of these eight homes features the Giant Gables Garage Sale.

The Tour begins  with breakfast bites, coffee, and mimosas at Snaidero kitchens + design showroom (4110 Ponce de Leon Boulevard). At check in, Tour participants will be given a program booklet containing the Tour map. Homes on this self-guided Tour will be open until 2:00 P.M., and participants may visit the homes in the order they choose. Last entry to the Tour homes will be 1:45 PM.

The Tour finishes with a Closing Event in the Books & Books outdoor courtyard (265 Aragon Avenue) from 12:30 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. featuring champagne, a wide array of desserts, a display on Kitchen Trends, and cookbooks authors who will be on hand to mingle and to sign books. Honorary Chair and Coral Gables' First Lady Carmen Cason will also be on hand at the closing event to meet and greet participants.

Tour Tickets are $50 per person and all-inclusive of food and beverages, and may be easily purchased through our website coralgablestourofkitchens.com, at the starting point (Snaidero) on the day of the Tour, or at the Giant Gables Gourmet Garage Sale. Participants may also call to buy tickets: 305-446-9670.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation and the Coral Gables Senior High School Culinary Arts Program.

 
January 11 - 19. UNCORKED! the Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 00:00

UNCORKED!!! Ten glorious days of wine tasting events, cooking demonstrations, wine dinners, live music, food and wine pairing classes, progressive wine dinners, art and wine shows, and of course, fabulous sunsets, scuba diving, fishing, many tourist attractions, shopping, and a great time!

The Grand Tasting. the Festival Finale scheduled for Saturday January 19, is a multi-sensory experience  where area restaurants and wine experts come together to present samples of their finest cuisine and world-class wines. Live music, celebrity chef appearances and cooking demos combine to serve up the recipe for a spectacular afternoon of tasting in the fabulous Florida Keys.F or a list of restaurants: www.fkrm.com/uncorked/restaurants

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 22:35
 
Ninth Annual Author Breakfast Series at The Brazilian Court Hotel kicks off with author Alex Witchel PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG Staff   
Thursday, 03 January 2013 23:01

 

alexwitchelcfredr.conradSix author breakfasts, beginning on January 11th and concluding on March 29th, will comprise the 2013 Author Breakfast Series at The Brazilian Court Hotel. Lectures will cover topics spanning memoirs, novels, popular culture, history and current events from award-winning authors spanning Michael Connelly —The Lincoln Lawyer; ARGO author Tony Mendez; and Rebecca Miller, daughter of playwright Arthur Miller and wife of actor Daniel Day Lewis, herself a film director, screenwriter and actress, among others.

On Friday, January 25, 8:45 a.m. through 10:00 a.m.  Kick off of the breakfast Series @ the Brazilian Court Hotel with author Alex Witchel.  The New York Times Magazine staff writer, who originated the “Feed Me” column for its Dining section, will speak with Palm Beach Post’s Literary Critic, Scott Eyman, about her new book, All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. With Refreshments. Is there any contract tighter than a family recipe?” When Witchel’s ultracapable mother began to exhibit undeniable signs of dementia, her plan to "fix it" were undone by medical reality.  As her mother continued to disappear in plain sight. Witchel retreated to the kitchen, and tried to reclaim her mother by cooking the comforting foods of her childhood, which helped her come to terms with the phenomenon of “ambiguous loss."  Witchel's  experience is recounted in a frank, bittersweet, and surprisingly funny book that offers true balm for an increasingly familiar form of heartbreak.

Tickets, $100 plus tax, include breakfast, valet parking and a copy of the book.

For reservations and information, call Sandra Rodriguez, 561.366.4301 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more about the series, visit www.thebraziliancourt.com/events-calendar-en.html

The Brazilian Court Hotel, 301 Australian Avenue, Palm Beach, FL 33480 Tel. 561.655.7740.  

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 January 2013 23:07
 
62,600 liters of Soldera’s Case Basse Brunello di Montalcino lost: Former Case Basse employee motivated by revenge. PDF Print E-mail
Written by AFP   
Monday, 24 December 2012 18:01

monica soldera

On a barrel tasting visit to Soldera's Casse Basse two years ago, manager Monica dsc07462Soldera , Gianfranco's daughter, admonished us not to spit out the wines.  "Not a drop must be wasted ," she said.  A  tour of the organic and biodynamic vineyards convinced me that indeed it would be sinful. Little did I know that I would be one of the few who had tasted the precious vintages that were laid to waste after an act of vandalism which took place two weeks ago (read stories below).   Listen to an interview with Monica Soldera...

Photos: Left - Monica Soldera at the impeccably pristine winery Casse Basse. Right - Monica Soldera in the garden leading to the biodynamic vineyards. (By Simone Zarmati Diament - South Florida Gourmet- Montalcino)

By AFP | Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Italian police on Tuesday arrested a former employee of the Brunello di Montalcino winery Case Basse for draining barrels worth millions of euros in a case that has shaken up the tranquil Tuscan hills.

Andrea Di Gisi was caught after police bugged his car.

They heard him telling his nephew he had washed wine stains off the jeans he wore on the night he broke into the cellar at the Case Basse château.

Police said De Gisi had acted out of revenge after receiving several reprimands, and after the estate's manager allocated housing he wanted to another employee.

Di Gisi, who has a criminal record for theft, is accused of draining 62,600 liters of the Brunello di Montalcino wine in an act that effectively wiped out all the winery's vintages between 2007 and 2012.

Montalcino Mayor Silvio Franceschelli and Brunello Consortium leader Fabrizio Bindocci thanked the police, saying the arrest had restored "serenity."

"This was a vile and unimaginable act," they said in a statement, condemning initial reports that had linked the case to organized crime.

 

Apparent breakthrough suggests vendetta by former employee.

By Diana Goodman | Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Italian media say police are close to an arrest over the attack on a Brunello winery during which 62,600 liters of wine were poured into the sewers.

The attack on the Case Basse winery – a leading producer of Brunello di Montalcino – happened overnight on December 2, when the intruder, or intruders, opened the taps on the barrels holding the wine.

La Repubblica said the suspect was a former Case Basse employee, whom investigators had located in an unspecified area of Montalcino.

Any link to organized crime had been ruled out. Instead, the newspaper said, the crime appeared to be an act of retaliation by the former worker, and "the final word on the ugly affair" was expected in the next few days.

The weekly news magazine Panorama confirmed that the anti-Mafia directorate in Florence had excluded the "bleaker scenario" of Mafia involvement. It said the saboteur had broken a window of the winery's cellar to gain access before opening the valves of 10 Oak barrels, allowing wine from the last six harvests to flow into the gutters and then into the sewers.

First estimates put the loss at around 2.5 million euros ($3.25 million). However, Panorama suggested the real figure was well over 10 million euros ($13 million) when calculated as the loss of more than 83,000 bottles due to be sold at over 130 euros ($169) each.

The magazine added that early investigations had followed three tracks: a possible Mafia connection; revenge for the so-called Brunellogate scandal, in which some local producers were investigated over the use of grapes other than Sangiovese, resulting in a downgrade to simple IGT status; and a vendetta by a former Case Basse worker.

Panorama reported that as a result of the attack, vintages of the Case Basse Brunello wine that had been destroyed would now become a rarity. The winery's owner, Gianfranco Soldera, told the magazine that all he had left from those vintages was some wine that had been kept back in smaller barrels for decanting and topping up.

A report in Il Corriere revealed that other winemakers belonging to the Brunello consortium of producers had offered to donate some of their own wines to Gianfranco Soldera, but he had refused.

Soldera suggested that instead, funds raised by the sale of the wine should be used for research at the University of Siena into the Sangiovese grape.

The newspaper said Soldera had suspended sales of Case Basse wines in an attempt to ward off speculators. However, it added that because of "the cynicism of the market, in fact it was immediately evident."

Il Corriere said that on both sides of the Atlantic, prices for the remaining bottles of the 2006 vintage – the last to reach the market – had shot up, reaching $1,300 in the United States. On Wine-Searcher's database the wine had an average U.S. price of $300 ex-tax last month, but it has risen in recent days to $360. However, many suppliers are now sold out, with a fall in the number of companies worldwide holding bottles of the wine in stock.

Il Corriere also printed a statement from the Soldera family in which they thanked people from around the world for offering help and sympathy after the attack. These expressions of solidarity, reaching across geographical boundaries, had left the family "amazed, moved and proud ... An invisible but unbreakable bond joins us now to those who share our values, who are outraged by this cruel insult to the work and passion, to those of us who want to react going forward without surrendering our principles."

The statement added that the suspension of sales was necessary because "while respecting the freedom of operators in the sector," it was important for Case Basse to prevent speculators from depriving wine lovers of the opportunity to enjoy the wines.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 December 2012 21:36
 
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